NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

New Mexico State receives $1.6 million to reach out to migrant students

Free housing, meal plans and health exams are now available to migrant students through the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) established at New Mexico State University with a $1.6 million federal grant through the Office of Migrant Education.

s the first grant the university has received that focuses on migrant education," said Provost William B. Flores. "So many students in southern New Mexico come from families that originally moved from Mexico and are working as agricultural laborers."

The newly established CAMP program is accepting applications for the spring 2003 semester. The program offers qualified students financial assistance with living expenses the first year of college and then provides continuing support such as tutoring and mentoring programs and assistance with financial aid forms.

"Our goal is to see each CAMP student graduate from New Mexico State University," said Cynthia Bejarano, the principal investigator for the grant and a criminal justice professor at the university. "The CAMP program offers the first line of support to ensure students' success at the university."

School officials in the Gadsden, Las Cruces and Hatch school districts report that Dona Ana County alone has about 900 migrant families, Bejarano said.

To qualify for the program, students must meet the university's admission requirements and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. They also have to meet at least one of the following requirements: prospective students or their parents must have spent at least 75 days during the past 24 months as migrant or seasonal workers, or students must have participated in the Migrant Education Program while in school or they must have been eligible to participate in the Employment and Training Administration Department of Labor Workforce Investment Act.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will award the university about $300,000 a year for five years, which is expected to assist more than 130 students on the New Mexico State campus. The program is available to migrant or seasonal workers and their families from all backgrounds across the country, Bejarano said.

Mary Helen Lujan has been hired as the program coordinator and Lawrence Salazar as recruitment coordinator.

For more information about the program, contact Bejarano at (505) 646-3317 or cbejaran@nmsu.edu.